The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Tester's Talks Security, Vet Benefits


November 1, 2017

In an Oct. 18, press call with Montana’s rural journalists, US Senator Jon Tester touted the agenda that he has worked to pass in gridlocked Washington. The Big Sandy Farmer opened about farm bill meetings he had held throughout the state, and then pivoted to tout border security, wildfire management, and the opioid crisis as more pressing issues.

“There are folks out there who aren’t our friends and we need to protect both the northern and the southern borders of our nation,” remarked Tester adding that, “as the ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Committee, I’ve worked tirelessly to keep Montanans safe.”

Tester went on to tout his record of bills that would increase border security funding, increase funding to law enforcement to assist in border security, and increase funding for technology to secure not only the border but airports as well. Tester also cautioned for the need to protect civil liberties in the process of securing our nation. He commented that, “Law-abiding citizens should not be worried about the NSA, DHS, CIA, FBI, ICE or any other fancy D.C acronym listening in on our phone conversations.”

Tester also discussed his record on the VA and honoring Veterans and Gold Star families. He introduced legislation to, “honor gold star families” by increasing the VA’s Death and Indemnity Compensation benefit by $300 a month. The benefit is paid to the families of service members killed in action.

In recent weeks, the Montanan Senator has also been working on a bill known as the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, which seeks to change the way the federal government funds wildfire fighting, relief and prevention efforts in the nation. He had also introduced an emergency appropriations bill to assist federal agencies currently managing wildfires, or recovery efforts.

Tester called out the Drug Enforcement Agency on an, “overdue report detailing how law enforcement agencies can help opioid patients and prevent prescription drugs from ending up in the wrong hands.” Congress had demanded the report be filed by the DEA director by April 2017, but six months later it is still undelivered. “Tester wants the DEA to provide the information so Congress can determine the best action to take to ensure the Agency has the tools it needs to fight the opioid epidemic,” according to an Oct. 23 release from his office.


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